“I remember my first dance like it was yesterday. I was five years old, and my grandparents took me to the army club. We walked through the doors to find people in sarees, ball gowns, and suits, dancing the night away. People danced the tango, foxtrot, and cha-cha. I was mesmerized. Then my grandmother asked me to dance. I can still feel my first step of the foxtrot.
From that moment forward, I knew I wanted to pursue dancing as a career. My father did not share this sentiment. He said I was an army officer's son, and I needed to get a job. But my grandmother encouraged me to pursue my passion. My father eventually gave me his blessing as well. I believe the blessings of your elders is really important when trying something new. It is because of the blessings, love, and support of my grandparents that I have been able to achieve the kind of global popularity I have now.
At our first 'Dance for a Cause' show, we performed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The focus that year was 'Save the Tiger', which is India's national animal. During the performance, Bill Clinton sat in the front row. I will never forget that moment because it reminded me that dance impacts anybody and everybody: from the underprivileged children I teach in the slums to world leaders. Everyone can experience the power of the art form. That is the beauty of dance. It brings people together.
Today the world has come much closer. In one Zoom class, you have people from all over the world joining together to dance. Eventually when the lockdown was lifted, to my surprise, the first students who came to my offline classes were a 57-year-old woman and a 62-year-old man. They walked through the sanitizing machine, thrilled to participate. Sometimes people are nervous about dancing because of their age. Being 57 myself, I think age only makes you wiser and more experienced. I love my job because I get to dance with all shapes, sizes, professions, and ages. Most of our lives are lived for other people: our children, grandchildren, husbands, and wives. We have always lived for someone else. Now is the time to live for ourselves and do what we want. So dance for yourself because it keeps you happy. Dance to stay positive. Dance to stay strong. Dance brings all of us together. Come dance with us!”
Join celebrity choreographer Sandip Soparrkar on Friday, February 18, for ballroom and salsa dancing.
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